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Discussion Starter #1
FWW #186, October 2006 has an article with this headline.

Here they are: (1/2" shank unless different)

  • 1/4" straight bit (1/4" shank)
  • 1/2" straight bit
  • 3/8" spiral-fluted up cutting straight bit (solid carbide)
  • Rabbeting bit with four bearings
  • 1/2" dovetail bit, 10 degree
  • 1/4" roundover bit
  • 3/8" radius cove bit
  • 45 chamfer bit, 1 1/4" dia.)
  • Three-wing slot cutter, 1/4" thick
  • 1/2" flush trimming bit, 1 1/2" long cut

I would like to eventually get all of them... I have to be frugal.
I have some cheap stuff already.
So far, I am NOT a heavy user... but I can see that changing...
I am an occasional user... but I can see that changing a little...
OK, picture me as a Moderate user... :)

I don't want to get cheap junk...
I don't want to pay a huge premium for the best.
I want to get the best for the money.

How would you go about getting them and from whom?
Look for Sales and take your time on a "as needed" basis?
What Brand(s)... (tough one)?

Thanks for the help...
 

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HI Joe

This is what I would recommend,then buy one at a time as you need them.

Spiral Upcut/Downcut Starter Sets
http://www.mlcswoodworking.com/shopsite_sc/store/html/smarthtml/pages/bt_solid_sets.html

Spiral Flush Trim Bit
http://www.mlcswoodworking.com/shop...l/pages/bt_solid.html#spiral_flushtrim_anchor


Round Over Bit, #8655 1/2" at $17.00
http://www.mlcswoodworking.com/shopsite_sc/store/html/smarthtml/pages/bt_rndvr.html

The bits and set of Brass Bars From Oak-Park or MLCS and your set to put your router to work.

And a real plus is the free shipping and if you play it right you can get a 10% off the total (From: MLCS) by putting in a code like C09,C10,etc.. :)
----------------

flute flat bottom cutters.
Top quality micrograin solid carbide.
Will cut faster, smoother and stays sharper longer.
Produces a very clean, fast and accurate cut with minimal chatter.
Upcut spiral helps remove material. Ideal for making mortise and tenon joints.
Downcut spirals help hold the material in place while using handheld routers.
Will plunge cut and plane edges.
Eliminates chipping at the top of the cut. Ideal for soft & hard woods, plywoods & composites.

Bj :)
 

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Hi Joe
Once you place a order with MLCS they will put in the box a blue slip that has the code on it..
"return buyer -10% off) so to say buy one small item to get the -10% off, :)
They also ship quick,I get the items I buy it 4 days or less via.UPS or USPS plus a tracking number all the time in my e-mail box.

***** I SHOULD NOTE: it takes a $50.oo min. buy to get the 10% OFF... :)
Bj :)

Like the items below ▼

Brass Router Height Set-Up Kit

***NOTE*** The 1/16" size :) in the one set,not the norm.

BRASS MULTI SIZE SET-UP KIT
Perfect for router, shaper and table saw set-up. 2-3/8" bars allow accurate depth adjustments in 6 sizes (1/16", 1/8", 3/16", 1/4", 3/8", 1/2").
Soft metal brass bars won't splinter or chip your router bit or saw blade if they accidentally hit the cutters.
Conveniently attached to key chain for quick accessibility.


#9718 list $20.00..........................ONLY $17.95

SQUARE BAR KIT
Allows depth adjustments in five sizes (1/8", 3/16", 1/4", 3/8", 1/2"). Includes five, 4" long square bars.
#9717 Square Bar Kit...................ONLY $22.95

JUST one more NOTE *** I got one of the #9717 sets and cut them in half, now I have two sets for the price of one.. :) and I now have a set for both of my router tables or my table saw.... :)

http://www.mlcswoodworking.com/shopsite_sc/store/html/smarthtml/pages/routacc1.html
 

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Joe, many members have agreed with BJ on the MLCS bits. I have yet to order any but will when a project calls for a bit I don't have. Most of the bits I have are from Woodcraft or Rockler. This is because Woodcraft runs sales on the 20 most popular bits for $5 each, some times less. I have these bits in both 1/4" and 1/2" shank sizes so I can use them in all my routers. I watch the sale flyers and buy discounted Whiteside or specialty bits. When Woodcraft moved to their new location near me I bought a Whiteside beaded rail & style set for 40% off. A couple months ago Woodcraft started offering CMT bits in addition to Whiteside at a discount in their monthly flyers. So far they have all been bits that I have, but I do keep watch for bits I don't have. Whiteside is American made top quality. CMT from Italy and Amana from Israel are other top quality brands. Bosch offers a wide selection of high quality bits. I would be interested in hearing from members who have used PC, Vermont American, Skil, Viper and any other bits as to how well they perform.
 

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I just received this in my email from Woodcraft.......

Save 25% on all CMT Router Bits During the month of September!

In stock bits only - no special orders.
 

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Hi Bob

Looks like CMT maybe getting out of the router bits, sommerfeldtools has many,many router bits at almost 50% off...I'm not sure but it sure looks funny that both companys are running hot discount on CMT great bits :) ...
Marc Sommerfeld the owner said he was going to put out his own bits the end of Oct.06 or try too.
Hummmm looks like it maybe a great time to stock up on router bits. :)

http://www.sommerfeldtools.com/closeouts.asp


Bj :)
 

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Bob,

You may be onto something reaqding between the lines of this statement "In stock bits only - no special orders".

Never the less... good time to stock up at some good prices for us consumers :sold:
 

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I started out with a set of router bits from www.holbren.com
This gave me lots of bits to experiment with, play with and even ruin. Then I started adding to that set by buying Whiteside, CMT and Infinity bits. I usually look for sales or discounts and stock up when I can.

If you want to skip right to the better bits this is a great starter set at a great price:
http://www.holbren.com/product.php?productid=440&cat=85&page=1

Holbren gives a 10% discount to woodnet.com members (membership is free) and shipping is free.

I also grabbed some of the CMT bits mentioned above on sale at www.sommerfeldtools.com

Infinity has very good quality bits as well and the have an overstock section where some of them are discounted:
http://www.infinitytools.com

Although the Holbren branded bits are nt considered in the same league as the Whitesides and other high-ticket bits I still use them and find them to be of very good quality. For bits that I intend to use infrequently I don't intend to go with the high end stuff.

Michael
 

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I get excellant service and bits from MLCS. Ordered some Sat and received them Wed (free shipping).

One company that dos'nt get much mention here is Pricecutter. Unlike MLCS and Grizzley which have 2 levals of bits. Pricecutter has a sister company, Eagle America for there higher quallity bits. First time I ordered from Pricecutter they sent the wrong bit. I could have called them but e-mailed instead. Was surprised to get allmost imediate response. After a couple more e-mails turned out they were out of the one I wanted so I returned the wrong one and they sent me the Eagle America version at no additional cost in under a week. Needless to say I am very happy with there service and have ordered again. But when only getting a few bits MLCS is usually a better deal because of the free shipping.

Rusty
 

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Hi Rusty

I will 2nd that one, Pricecutters is a good one to order from . :)

copy of a order I placed with them below ▼
---------------
PriceCutter.com
Order Confirmation Email

Web Order Number: W297172

Order Detail:
1 P19-4016 ($30.99/each) - $30.99
BUTTERFLY SPLINE 1-1/8 X 1/2" SHK
In Stock

1 P13-2227 ($14.99/each) - $14.99
DOVETAIL 1 X 14 DEGREE X 1/2" SHK
In Stock

Shipping Method: Standard Shipping

Thanks again for your business, and have a great day!

PriceCutter.com Customer Service
------------------

Bj :)
 

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Bobj, which do you prefer more? MLCS or Sommerfeld? Just ordered a cat. from Sommerfeld. Had to replace my (cough, cough) drool bib, I mean wood chip apron. :D
 

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Hi Ken

Well I prefer Sommerfeld because I'm a real box nut, that's to say the bit sets are in a real neat oak box and I will pay a bit more for the CMT sets and the CMT bits are better than most. (real sharp, they take that extra step with the back grind on them)

But when it comes to Solid Carb.Bits I go with MLCS because of the price and the free shipping (carb. bits are carb. bits) :)

Both are quick shippers and send tracking numbers b/4 I ask for them.

Ken, besure to check out the close out sale that sommerfeld is having, many,many CMT bits at 50% off.... :)

Bj :)
 

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Hey guys, let me add my thoughts. MLCS has one of the nicest catalogs on the market. They show you the profile of the cutter and the cut it makes, plus the profile of the cut in most cases are actual size. Even if you don't buy from them, I think they have one great catalog. and they are free.
 

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Thank you Bob, Dr. Z.
I'll be lookin into an MLCS cat. soon. I've looked at the web site. Very informative I thought. I respect Bob's take and have noticed that he's mentioned both in the past. Was only curious as to which he preferred over the other. I'll see about a cat. from MLCS soon. Again, thank you both. :D
 

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You're Welcome Ken

It's a great Xmax. wish book :) (MLCS) I just gave it to my wife and put a red check mark on the items I wanted for Xmax. and she said ya right, pick ONE only for Xmax. and that's it boy . :)

Bj :)
 

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I would also add a 3/8 round over. I use that alot. I couldn't live without a 3/4 dado bit either myself for the work I do. I buy straights and roundover usually at Home depot and get the Ryobi brand. Most of these house brands are made for them by one of these well known manf. These are called Contractor Grade and are the same thing you would find at Rockler, Ryobi and alot of others.
I have bought some nice "industrial carbide" bits at Sears the last 2 years. The last 2 Novembers they have had a big sale by one and get one free of the same price. I got some real nice bits. They arent any better than any other bit but the price is excellent. Keep a watch out for them this year.
Corey
 

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challagan said:
I couldn't live without a 3/4 dado bit either myself for the work I do.
I also have discovered that out of over 60 bits, I use the 3/4" straight the most. Since a picture is worth 1000 words I thought I would show the difference between a cheap bit and a good bit. The blue bit is from my origianal E-bay set and the cream colored one is from MLCS. At the time of the pic the MLCS bit has been used at least twice as much and has cut deeper per pass. but shows very little signs of use.

Rusty
 

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Ok, so far members have been pleased with the results from MLCS, Whiteside, CMT, Holbren, Ryobi, Craftsman, Bosch, Infinity, Woodcraft and Rockler. Are there other brands you have used and can comment on? I want to provide the first negative post on a brand, a warning against Columbian bits. Most often sold as box sets these yellow bits are very poor quality, and here is proof of it: First pass out of the box using a bearing guided 3/8" round over bit produced a poor quality slow cut with smoke. On inspecting the bit I discovered the yellow paint worn off the cutter support in a couple places. The support material was not properly clearanced and was dragging on the wood! The 45 degree chamfering bit had vibration so I immediately removed it. The bearing guided 1/2" straight bit produced an uneven cut. (these cuts were on pine!) Now anybody can make a mistake and have one bad bit slip through, but 3 in the same kit? A big thumbs down for Columbian. If you have had problems that were unresolved with other brands please let us know.
 

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Yup.... Old Hickory router bits. I think they were part of US Saw Blade Company that is now owned by Delta. Anyway, it wasn't the cutters but the bearings were junk on the guided bits.

Corey
 
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